You without Y by Jana Philipp

This solstice I am thinking about Sisterhood. That is, all the amazing women who have welcomed me into their hearts and lives, whether they are my family members, my colleagues, or my friends (or all of the above). I’m celebrating my 60th birthday this solstice, and I am spending the entire day with women whose company I enjoy.

As I ponder sisterhood within the context of this blog, I think of all the amazing women I have encountered in my singing life, my Singing Sisters. There are so many of them and they have supported and sustained me over these many years of my singing life. I apologize in advance if there are some who aren’t mentioned here–it’s a long list.

I think of some of the first Singing Sisters I ever had–Denise Williams, Liza Sheard and Jayne Lewis, who were inspirations to me in high school before I ever knew that singing would be such a big part of my life. In University, there was Gabrielle Prata, Judith Dowling, Heather Suttie, Ingrid Attrot, Joanne Kolomyjec, Linda Condy and so many others too numerous to mention. These women got me through the days of undergrad required-course-drudgery and taught me so much about performing, being a good colleague and urging one another on. As I went through my early professional years, Jean Stilwell, Lisa Saffer, Wendy Hill, Tracy Dahl, Clarry Bartha, and the very wonderful Susannah Waters (who is my friend to this day) supported and sustained me through thick and thin. One truly inspiring singing sister mentor and angel has been Frederica von Stade, better known as Flicka, who lifted me up when I was scared and made so many amazing opportunities possible for me. And more recently, women like Allyson McHardy (who truly saved me in a moment of crisis), Mia Lennox, Krisztina Szabo, and the warm and lovely Maria Soulis have been there to cheerlead when necessary, to be real when it counted and to remind me of my value when I forgot. And last but not least, my beautiful friend, studio pianist and partner in musical crime, Anna Ronai, who is not a singer but has a singer’s soul. Thank you all. You rock.